Creating “Best Of” lists, landing pages, self-serve portals, and other types of advertising to add value to your business directory
Online business directories are providing digital publishers with a valuable monetization opportunity, but the benefits don’t stop at the publisher’s doorstep. Beyond providing an additional source of revenue for online magazines and news publishers, directories create value for business owners, as well. Online directories drive traffic to businesses websites and serve as an important marketing tool for companies that are just getting off the ground.
In this post, we will look at how some of the savviest digital publishers have designed their business directories to maximize profits and efficiency. We’ll also take a look at how to add value to your business directory using the latest strategies and digital tools.
As you might remember from previous articles, we are big proponents of the online business directory here at Web Publisher PRO. We have spent years helping digital publishers build directories for their websites. Not only do our directories bolster the publisher’s reputation within the local business community, but they are also designed in a way that drives maximum profitability.
Here is a brief recap of what you should know about business directories today:
What Is a Local Business Directory? Local business directories are websites that feature listings for businesses in a specific area or industry. These listings typically include information like the business name, phone number, address, and a website link. Directories can be filtered by location, industry, activity, or business size, so online visitors can find the businesses that fit their exact specifications.
How Are Local Business Directories Populated? When they are just beginning, most digital publishers will create local listings for each of their business advertisers. This gives those advertisers a little extra value, however it can become cumbersome as the directory expands over time. Eventually, most publishers want to create abbreviated listings for businesses that haven’t yet begun to advertise on their websites, as well. The process of creating these listings and populating a large business directory can be streamlined by working with a website development firm like Web Publisher PRO and integrating automated online software.
How Do Directories Generate Revenue? Publishers have come up with a number of ways to monetize their business directories. The most common approach is for publishers to charge businesses a fee of $5 to $10 per month to have their listings included. An online magazine with 1,000 listings could be bringing in $10,000 per month, or more, using this approach. One of the ways to expand further, and generate even more revenue, is by adding value for your business advertisers. You can add value to your business directory in a number of ways, which we’ll get into below.
Adding Value to a Business Directory
We know that publishers want their online directories to be as successful as possible. The fastest way to do that is by encouraging businesses to sign up for paid directory listings. How do you accomplish that?
The first step to add value to your business directory is to ask existing advertisers what they want. How can you build your directory in a way that meets their advertising and marketing needs?
A few examples of how you can meet the needs of advertisers and add value to your business directory are:
- Offering to create individual landing pages for businesses that sign up for paid directory listings.
- Highlighting the listings of paid business advertisers or placing those listings in a special box near the top of each page.
- Publishing an annual “Best Of” list with links to the directory listings of any businesses or individuals included on the list.
- Throwing in free directory listings for businesses that extend their advertising packages or sponsored campaigns.
- Developing a self-service portal where businesses can update the information in their listings in real-time.
- Tracking the number of visitors who click on individual listings, or links within those listings, and then providing that data to businesses.
If you would like to learn more about how to develop a business directory or add more value to a directory you’ve already built, reach out to our team of digital publishing experts at Web Publisher PRO.